It’s no surprise that your employees might be feeling mentally exhausted and strained, especially with the impact of COVID-19 over the past couple of years. According to a recent study, nearly a quarter (23%) of employees reported feeling burned out during work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes.1
Below are some effective employee listening strategies that will keep your staff engaged and happy whilst at work:
Connect with your workforce
Have you properly checked in with your staff? This will help you to understand what stresses your employees are under. For example, they may be feeling that their workload has increased dramatically during the pandemic; they may be feeling that their hours are too long or are anti-social; or they may be affected by staff shortages and low morale. To avoid these stresses, it would be advised to connect with your workforce via staff surveys or dedicated 1-2-1s.
Address workforce pressures
Once you understand the pressures, you can then see what you can do to help improve them. This might mean trying to recruit more staff, looking at what flexibility you can offer – for example, flexible working. Workloads and targets may need to be assessed. These work pressures should then continue to be monitored by management.
But how do you prevent your employees from burning out? Following these advisory tips can help:
Make them feel appreciated
If the resources are available, think about whether employee benefits can be increased to make employees feel valued. For example:
- If employees are focused on career progression, see if you can offer a focus on any training and opportunities available, or expand your current offering
- If there is a focus on individual benefits, highlight pay, annual leave, pensions, and perks of the job - such as gym memberships
- Some may have felt very isolated in the pandemic, so think about social activities and team building - which can also help create a team spirit and increase engagement. Even if there are little resources available, a free team activity can still increase engagement. You could also encourage any colleague support networks– for example, a buddying or mentoring programme
Prioritise annual leave
Encourage employees to ensure they take all their annual leave. If you can, try to avoid limiting the times they take leave, or creating a culture where taking leave is frowned upon or made difficult. For example, can you make it easy for work to be redistributed to minimise stress before and after leave?
Create a great work environment
- During the pandemic, appraisals with your team could have taken a back foot. Now’s the time to get back on top of them – it’s important these internal HR processes take place to make individuals feel a valued part of the organisation and ensure they can voice their opinions and goals
- Make sure that from board-level down, there is a friendly and respectful atmosphere
- Managers should ensure they have regular catch-ups with their teams so they understand how employees are. You might want to consider whether any of your managers need any further training to support employees
Offer mental health support
A supportive work setting that helps employees with mental health issues will undoubtedly see higher staff retention. Some examples of the support companies could offer could include:
- Having mental health first aiders that individuals could speak with about any issues they may have
- Having an Employee Assistance Programme
- Regular catch-up sessions
Backing you to succeed with refreshingly human advice and support
We hope you found the information in this article helpful. As part of our continued commitment to support wellbeing, if you would like to learn more about any of the topics discussed, or are looking for support around risk management or employee health and benefits, please get in touch or speak to your Marsh Commercial advisor.